Boko Haram targets villages as army sweeps cities

Facing a crackdown by the military  in cities, Islamist militants are targeting villages in the northeast,  killing about 160 people this year alone in Borno State and signalling  there’s no respite in their five-year-old insurgency.In one of the latest assaults, suspected  members of the Boko Haram group killed 39 people on February 11 when  they attacked a police station, houses and mosques in Konduga, about 38  kilometres  southeast of the Borno State capital. Last month, 85 people  died in an attack on Kawuri village that destroyed 300 houses and shops.Since President Goodluck Jonathan  imposed a state of emergency on Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states last May,  the military has claimed to have knocked back Boko Haram which is  fighting to impose Sharia. Boko Haram started its violent campaign after  its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, died in police custody in July 2009.Boko Haram has not carried out an attack  on a high-profile metropolitan target since 2011 when it bombed the  United Nations building  in Abuja and a church at Suleja near  the  federal capital.Violence has eased too in Maiduguri, a city of about 1 million people that was the birthplace of Boko Haram, residents say. ”The state of emergency declaration has  brought about relative peace to Maiduguri and neighbouring communities,  but all that is at the expense of vulnerable villages which now suffer  frequent attacks from suspected Boko Haram members,” said Aisha  Abububakar, a 42-year-old tailor in Maiduguri.The US, which designated Boko Haram a  “terrorist’’ organization in November, said that during the attack on  Konduga the insurgents kidnapped young women from two schools in the  area. The Federal  Government should ensure that those abducted during  the raid “are safely returned to their families and bring the  perpetrators to justice as soon as possible,” the US Embassy said   yesterday  in a statement.The military claims to have killed at  least 150 militants in three major pushes in Borno State since December  20,

Cattle rustlers attack 2 communities, kill 20 in Zamfara

Zamfara State police command has disclosed that cat-tle rustlers killed 20 people, including a po-lice corporal who lost his life during the gun battle in the two communities in the state. Saturday Sun gathered that suspected cattle rustlers attacked Tungar Bawo and Bingi communities in Maru Emirate Council in the state at night where 20 people including a police corporal were killed on the spot.Speaking in an inter-view with Saturday Sun in Gusau, the command’s Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), DSP Lawal Abdullahi disclosed that the cattle rustlers also suffered casualties. It was learnt that the hoodlums were believed to be on reprisal mission, as two of their members

Chief of Staff: Jonathan considers Rtd General •South-South battles South-West

THE ongoing reorganisation in the Federal Government may see a retired General being appointed as the Chief of Staff to the president, it was learnt on Friday.ADVERTISEMENTThis came as certain forces around the president are also said to be advising President Goodluck Jonathan to scrap the office. They are said to be suggesting that the president’s Principal Secretary combine his duties with those of the Chief of Staff.The position of these ‘advisers’, the source said, was informed by what was described as the perceived excesses of the last holder of that office.

How Governor Uduaghan and Clark Plotted Orubebe’s Sack as Niger Delta Minister

Contrary  to insinuation that immediate past minister of Niger Delta Affairs and  self styled man of God, Godsdey Orubebe resigned to pursue his  gubernatorial ambition in Delta State, sources within the presidency has  revealed to us why Orubebe was sacked. According to our reliable sources, Orubebe has been having a running battle with the  President Goodluck Jonathan, who has asked him several times to mend  fences with Edwin Clark, but the latter remained adamant to such appeal  by Mr President. Edwin Clark we gathered had earlier asked the President  to drop Orubebe during last year cabinet shake-up, but the President  refused as he never wanted to be seen as doing so because his political  opponents, championed by Dino Melaye anti-corruption group brought  corruption cases against him, as it will be giving them the glory.The source confided in this paper that  the coming in of the new Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Adamu  Muazu gave room for Edwin Clark to strike. We authoritatively gathered  that Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan has been uncomfortable with  Orubebe soaring profile in the state, as he confided in his friends on  how Orubebe disobeyed his order that no one should declare for the  governorship yet, but Orubebe went ahead to declare.His declaration we gathered drew the  battle line between him and the Ex minister, though secretly. The  sources further noted that the visit of the Delta State PDP to pay  homage to the Party Chairman, was where the plot was hatched and sold to  Muazu to convince Mr President to drop Orubebe, in what our source  called ‘strategy of the devil’s theory’. When asked what he meant, he  said, “the Chairman must be seen as working and sacrifices has to be  made. Orubebe was among the sacrifices”. He told our reporter how the  duo of Clark and Uduaghan told Muazu that the only way for PDP to regain  the state will be to sack the corrupt minister,

Jonathan’s deal prompting minister’s sack exposed

The recent sack of four ministers may just be part of a deal  President Goodluck Jonathan has entered into in his re-election project,  Daily Sun can now reveal. Jonathan had, on Wednesday, fired Princess Stella Oduah, Minister of  Aviation; Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Niger Delta; Caleb  Olubolade, Minister of Police Affairs and Yerima Ngama, Minister of  State for Finance. This came barely one month after the president  removed the service chiefs and appointed new ones. Daily Sun gathered that the sack of the four ministers is part of the trade-off Jonathan has made, in his quest to seek re-election. Competent sources revealed that some elements in South-West had  specifically asked Jonathan to sack Oduah and Mike Oghiadomhe, the  former chief of staff to the president, if he wants to get the zone’s  support in 2015. It was gathered that the South-West has also requested that  replacements for Oduah and Oghiadomhe should come from South-West, as a  proof that Jonathan is not marginalising the zone. Opposition, however, has greeted the latter request, as some elements  in the Presidency are insisting that whichever minister is sacked  should be replaced by somebody from the zone. Sources also revealed that the sack of the service chiefs was due to  the request some politicians from the North made, for them to support  Jonathan’s second term bid. It was gathered that the northern elements specifically asked for  either the post of Chief of Army Staff or Chief of Defence Staff, with  the president opting for the latter. In appointing the Chief of Defence Staff, Jonathan changed the  sequence, as the post rotates among the Army, Navy and Air Force. While  the Navy and the air force produced the last two Chief of Defence Staff,  the Army was expected to take its turn now. To please the North, as the zone requested, Jonathan appointed Alex  Badeh from the Air Force, making it possible for two air men to serve as  CDS within a space of six years. Daily Sun gathered that as the 2015 general elections gets close,  Jonathan will make more concessions to political blocks he thinks would  be useful in his second term bid. Sources revealed that the president would, between now and June, make  his intention to seek a second term known. However, this will come  after he would have pacified some politicians and zones critical to his  second term ambition. Meanwhile, Oduah has received encomiums from her kith and kin in Anambra State, who described her as a heroine. They also commended Jonathan for giving Oduah an opportunity to give uncommon developmental stride in the aviation industry. Speaking on Oduah, leader of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA)  in Anambra, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, noted that the former minister has made  the Igbo proud, in the course of discharging her duty as aviation  minister. Pointing to the transformation of the nation’s airports he said: “I  have been in this country and used the airports so often that what I see  as transformation in our airports was unbelievable to me that a woman  could make such a difference. “Oduah to me is a heroine; she brought ingenuity in the aviation  industry and has done marvelously well, and she has really done us  proud.”

COVER THE LIES OF NIGERIA OR GET FIRED; Why I Sacked Odimegwu by Jonathan.

Abuja — PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan  explained, yesterday, that the former chairman of the National  Population Commission, NPC, Chief Festus Odimegwu was relieved of his  appointment because of certain statements he made, which brought  credibility problem to the commission. The president, who disclosed this while swearing in the chairman and  two commissioners of the National Population Commission;…

We’ll not support autonomy for ethnic nationalities at confab — ACF.

The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has said that the North would not  support autonomy for ethnic nationalities during the proposed National  Conference in the country. ACF, however, expressed support for devolution of power from the centre  to the states in such a way that ”the centre is strong enough to keep  the country one, but,…

Okorocha suspends Commissioner for alleged physical assault.

Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, has  suspended the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social  Development, Mrs. Nma Onyechere, with immediate effect for physically  assaulting a serving Commissioner in the Local Government Service  Commission, Chief Emeka Okoronkwo. The Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the governor on Media, Mr. Sam  Onwuemeodo, who confirmed this development…